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Your Morning Routine Isn’t Working - and Here’s Why.

I wasn’t always a morning person - and if we’re being honest, I’m not even sure if I am today. But, I am also not unaware of the benefits I get from waking up early. I have more time to read, more time to get ready, and overall - I just feel less stressed.

The problem with morning routines is that we try to do too much, and I’m totally guilty of this! I somehow convince myself that I have time to read, write, exercise, meditate, shower, get ready, and eat a full breakfast in a 30-minute span. Yes, I’m aware that it sounds crazy.

But, I convinced myself that if I wanted to have a morning routine, this is what I had to do. I had to check off each task and each habit in order to feel like I had a successful morning.

Well, fast forward a year later, I realized my morning routine wasn’t working. Was I getting a lot done? Sure. But was I adding value to my life by driving myself into a wall before 8 AM? No.

I knew something needed to change, but I wasn’t sure what that was. I was following the advice of every self-help book out there. I felt like I had unlocked the key to the perfect morning routine, and I didn’t want to change (even though I knew I had to). So, what was my problem?

My problem was that I was doing too much and expecting too much. I created an unrealistic expectation of what the perfect morning routine looked like, and I forgot to take into account what my life actually looked like.

Trying to Do Too Much in Too Little Time

Now that we’ve established what the problem is, let’s talk about why it’s a bad thing to begin with. When we are trying to do too much in too little time, we are essentially setting ourselves up for failure.

Think about the last time you set out to achieve something and fell short - it’s never a good feeling. Now imagine what you’re doing to yourself when you set these high expectations every single morning.

I’m not saying set the bar low, but I want you to explore a morning routine where the expectations aren’t sky-high. Think about what’s truly attainable for your lifestyle, and go after that. When you do this, you’ll begin starting each day off with a feeling of fulfillment and success.

Understanding Your Schedule

The next part of fixing your morning routine is fixing your schedule. If you know you only have 30 minutes before school or work, I don’t want you to set out and try to finish 10 things on your morning routine checklist. Start with one or two!

In 30 minutes, ask yourself what you can realistically get done. Can you write in your journal for 10 minutes? Okay great!

Can you go on a run for 20 minutes? Perfect.

And just like that, you’ve hit your 30-minute cap. You need to have a great understanding of what your schedule looks like before creating a morning routine for yourself, and this is why! Time goes by so fast, so you need to work with what you have.

This is one of the reasons why everyone’s morning routine will look so different. Some people do have the time to go to the gym for an hour before their day starts, and some people only have time for a quick 5-minute breakfast before heading out the door. Just make sure that you aren’t comparing your life to someone else's. Your schedule is different than theirs - and that’s completely okay.

What to Add to Your Morning Routine

I wanted to end this post with some ideas and habits that you can add to your morning routine! I always turn to others for inspiration when it comes to deciding what I should add or remove from my morning routine, so here are some of the ideas I’ve collected over the years.

  • Exercise

  • Reading

  • Journaling

  • Meditation

  • Walking

  • Making breakfast

  • Taking a shower

  • Doing skincare

  • Tidying up

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